“I’ve learned a few things…”

Why is this next event so special to us?
7 years ago was our last Holiday Market as a dairy farm and we enthusiastically handed out our coveted cheese and jam sandwiches, warm from the grill, made from my own French styles cheese and my brilliant friend’s perfect artisan jam to every visitor.
In 2009, I felt so compelled by my love of cheese that I sold everything I owned, subletted my terrific apartment and left my beloved library job to intern as a cheese maker. In doing so, I fell in love with goats, which gave me disdain for how I realized even the “small, humane” dairy industry was run, but yet unwilling to give up cheese, I opened the first commercial slaughter-free dairy in the country. I made beautiful, inspired cheeses. But I still couldn’t overcome what we were doing to animals and the concept of bodily autonomy, female-ness and motherhood in the use of dairy animals. So I went vegan, closed the dairy, opened a sanctuary and worked harder than I ever imagined I could for the past 7 years to rescue animals and give them a home where life was worth living.
This Saturday, for the first time in 7 years, we will serve our signature Cheese and Jam sandwiches, still with my friend Maura’s otherworldly RedCamper jam, but this time with cheese that fills that ethical void my own cheese made from animals’ milk left open. Thank you Treeline Cheese for mending that gap for us, for me personally, and for helping us bring back this intensely personal tradition. Because doing right isn’t about emptiness and sacrifice, it’s about reveling in who you truly are. And who I truly am loves delicious things as much as kindness and respect.
I’ve learned a few things in these years as a sanctuary.
1. I’ve never, ever, ever done everything perfectly. But I know that I’ve tried.
2. I’ve given everything possible to doing the most good I could possibly know how to for every thinking, feeling being I share the earth with, regardless of what species.
3. I am extremely proud of what my coworkers and I have accomplished, even in its lack of perfection.
I hope you’ll be here to celebrate this special occasion with us, but also to who we have been and how far we’ve come in 7 years. Even though we may not feel our lights are shining as brightly as we want them to at this moment, it doesn’t mean we are in darkness. I only hope I can convince you that it feels good to follow your heart and earn your own admiration, if for no one other than yourself.
*if you’ve followed us long, you know I’m not a selfie person or a limelight person. This is a collection of pretty much every photo of me the past 15 years. It’s time I put my foot down and say unashamedly that I only hope it expresses how damn proud I am of the difficult and unending rescue and caretaking work we’ve done at Broken Shovels. It’s my whole heart.

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